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Open Access Sub-optimal Application of a High SPF Sunscreen Prevents Epidermal DNA Damage in Vivo

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The cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) is a potentially mutagenic DNA photolesion that is the basis of most skin cancers. There are no data on DNA protection by sunscreens under typical conditions of use. The study aim was to determine such protection, in phototypes I/II, with representative sunscreen-user application. A very high SPF formulation was applied at 0.75, 1.3 and 2.0 mg/cm2. Unprotected control skin was exposed to 4 standard erythema doses (SED) of solar simulated UVR, and sunscreen-treated sites to 30 SED. Holiday behaviour was also simulated by UVR exposure for 5 consecutive days. Control skin received 1 SED daily, and sunscreen-treated sites received 15 (all 3 application thicknesses) or 30 (2.0 mg/cm2) SED daily. CPD were assessed by quantitative HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) and semi-quantitative immunostaining. In comparison with unprotected control sites, sunscreen significantly (p ≤ 0.001–0.05) reduced DNA damage at 1.3 and 2.0 mg/cm2 in all cases. However, reduction with typical sunscreen use (0.75 mg/cm2) was non-significant, with the exception of HPLC-MS/MS data for the 5-day study (p < 0.001). Overall, these results support sunscreen use as a strategy to reduce skin cancer, and demonstrate that public health messages must stress better sunscreen application to get maximal benefit.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2018

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  • Acta Dermato-Venereologica is a bi-monthly international peer-reviewed journal for clinical and experimental research in the field of dermatology and venereology.

    It was founded in 1920 by Johan Almqvist and edited during 1936-1969 by Sven Hellerström. Since 1970, the journal has been published for the Society for the Publication of Acta Dermato-Venereologica on a non-profit basis.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica publishes high-quality manuscripts in English dealing with new observations on basic dermatological and venereological research, as well as clinical investigations. Each volume also features a number of review articles in special areas, as well as short Letters to the Editor to stimulate debate and to disseminate important clinical observations. Acta Dermato-Venereologica has rapid publication times and is amply illustrated with a large number of colour photographs to enhance understanding.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica covers inter alia:

    • ~ Atopic dermatitis and contact allergy
    • ~ Facial dermatoses and adnexal disorders
    • ~ New treatments
    • ~ Psoriasis and genodermatoses
    • ~ Psychodermatology
    • ~ Sexually transmitted diseases
    • ~ Skin biology and inflammation
    • ~ Skin cancer and pigmentation
    • ~ Skin immunology and lymphoma
    • ~ Urticaria and itch

    Extensive papers, proceedings from congresses and symposia are printed as supplements to the journal. Announcements concerning pertinent dermatological meetings and books received are also published.
    Readership: Doctors and scientists interested in dermatology, skin biology and venereology.

    Acta Dermato-Venereologica has an impact factor of 3.007.

    Issues between 1998 up to 2005 can be found at

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